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Durham University

Learning and Teaching Handbook

1.2.9: Evaluation of Fee Status - Postgraduate

The relevant statutory instrument for the evaluation of fee status is the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997 and 2007, as amended. It is important to note that the statutory instrument is the official document and that this guidance is only intended as an informal source of advice. These notes explain the procedure for evaluating fee status at Durham University and contain a brief description of the appropriate regulations.

Each individual HEI is responsible for making a decision on a candidate's fee status; it is therefore possible that, in some borderline cases, different HEIs will come to different conclusions.

Within Durham University, the final judgement concerning the evaluation of postgraduate fee status rests with the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office.

At any time, the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office may be contacted for advice on fee status evaluation either formally or informally.

1.   Applicants are required to respond to a number of questions on the postgraduate application form, which are designed to aid the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office in assessing fee status.

2.      As electronic applications arrive in the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office., the fee status information on all applications is reviewed.  The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office. will at this point determine a candidate's initial fee status.

3.      Applicants do not always provide sufficient information on the application form.  If there is any doubt regarding the fee status of an applicant, a Fee Status assessment form is sent out for completion.   This form must be completed and returned (with supporting evidence as required) within 14 days of issue.  Forms are normally issued electronically and returns are accepted electronically.  If hard copies are required, the deadline will be extended to accommodate this.  Applicants who fail to respond by the deadline set will be assumed to be no longer interested in pursuing their application with the University and their application to Durham will be withdrawn.

4.     In the meantime applications forms are passed to departments for consideration.

5.   Once an application is recommended for approval by the department, this decision is returned to the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office. The fee status is indicated in the offer letter sent to the applicant by the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office.

6.     When an applicant receives an offer on the understanding that they are to be considered an overseas student for fee purposes, they are able to appeal against their fee status and are asked to contact the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office with appropriate information to uphold their claim.

7.      The Student Recruitment and Admissions Office will consider any additional documentation and inform the applicant of the outcome of the fee status re-evaluation.

8.      It should be remembered that only the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office can amend a fee status decision. 

Change to Fee Status

There are a few limited cases in which a student may change fee status whilst studying, however, most changes to fee status that occur whilst a student is studying are caused by a change in the student's details or status that qualify them for reassessment at any point or the inclusion of their home country within the European Union. Advice in either instance should be sought from the Student Recruitment and Admissions Office, who will also be able to advise about any repayment of fees already paid to the University. Such cases are considered by the Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions, in consultation with the Academic Registrar and the Director of Finance (or nominee), and no indication of the likely outcome of such appeals should be made to students by any other staff unless authorised to do so by the Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions.

Further information regarding the legislation of the fee status of students is available at: